They Were Supported in Their Laziness – Mosiah 11:5-7

5 For he put down all the priests that had been consecrated by his father, and consecrated new ones in their stead, such as were lifted up in the pride of their hearts.
6 Yea, and thus they were supported in their laziness, and in their idolatry, and in their whoredoms, by the taxes which king Noah had put upon his people; thus did the people labor exceedingly to support iniquity.
7 Yea, and they also became idolatrous, because they were deceived by the vain and flattering words of the king and priests; for they did speak flattering things unto them.

Mormon describes King Noah in terms which contrast starkly with his descriptions of King Benjamin and King Mosiah.
  • Benjamin appointed priests to “teach the people” and to “stir them up in remembrance of the oath which they had made” (Mosiah 6:3). In contrast, Noah appointed priests who were proud, lazy, and idolatrous, and who led the people into idolatry by flattering them.
  • Benjamin labored with his own hands so that his people “would not be laden with taxes” (Mosiah 2:14). In contrast, Noah taxed his people to support his own lazy lifestyle and that of his priests.
During the mortal ministry of Jesus Christ, two of His apostles requested special status above their peers. When the other ten heard about the request, they were irritated. The Savior defused the situation by teaching them about true leadership:

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:25-28).

As Mormon shows us, King Benjamin and his son Mosiah had great success by intentionally serving the people they led. (See, for example, the public perception of King Mosiah in Mosiah 29:40.) In contrast, Noah’s leadership style was unsustainable. It was inevitable that his people would eventually turn against him, because he was willfully taking advantage of them. (See Mosiah 19:19-21.)

Today, I will follow Benjamin’s example of Christlike leadership. I will teach and serve those I lead, focusing on their well being instead of my own.
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